By Jax Dieugenio
The College’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) houses a diverse array of academic specialties, spanning a total of 11 disciplines. The largest of the College’s five schools, it accommodates over 2,000 students, each with unique goals and ambitions.
Dr. Jane Wong, the current Dean of the school, discussed exciting updates in a sit-down interview. New curricular items, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) programs, and exciting student achievements have each added to another successful academic year.
Following through on a commitment to Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility, the school has undertaken a variety of comprehensive projects with the primary goal of embedding DEIA values and language in its foundation. As part of its efforts, the school of HSS formed the Committee Against Anti-Black Racism in 2021.
Wong looks forward to celebrating the African American Studies Department’s 50th year as an academic department within the College. To commemorate this occasion, there will be a gala at the Trenton Country Club on March 4. All funds raised will be used to support students to study abroad.
“As the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, it is our duty as educators in this field to act, and maintaining this commitment [to DEIA] is all of our jobs,” Wong said.
Wong mentioned a distinct commitment to embedding DEIA values into the curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As a part of this plan the school will soon be offering a Master's certificate in DEIA Studies, which is accessible to students of all majors. This is in addition to the school's existing graduate studies program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Emphasizing new cross-curricular developments within the school, Wong discussed an upcoming interdisciplinary major in Environmental Studies that would be available to students in 2024. The major encompasses various academic disciplines housed within the School of HSS.
In addition, the School of HSS is offering students the possibility of a three-year bachelor’s degree in English, Criminology or Psychology. The program is open to incoming students with a minimum of two AP credits or completion of two college-level courses with a B or higher.
Wong also acknowledged how successful this year has been in terms of student achievements. This past December, the College’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, received the national Outstanding chapter award for the 2021-2022 academic year.
In addition to this, Wong noted the School’s impressive track record of working with students on their journey to law school. Recent HSS graduates are attending top law schools, including Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia Law School. Wong explained that the school maintains its commitment to helping students achieve their goals, in whatever capacities they can.
“I am pleased and proud that each program in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences serves TCNJ's public mission by meeting students where they are and preparing them to address larger societal and global challenges,” Wong said, “and to pursue expanding career opportunities through developing life-long intellectual curiosity.”